Decades old remains found in Texas traced to Raleigh County

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GLADEWATER, TX (WVNS) — Human remains of a Jane Doe found in East Texas are linked back to Southern West Virginia.

In May 2002, during a construction project on a highway near Gladewater, TX, human remains were found. Jane Doe’s bones were sent to a medical examiner in Texas, who concluded she was between 16 and 30 years old. They think she had been dead up to two years before being discovered.

Investigators believe that Jane Doe is from West Virginia, specifically Beckley or Raleigh County. They say there is not a lot of information or clues found from her body.

“There’s no indication of homicide or anything since very little of her was found,” said Lieutenant Eddie Hope.

Her skull was sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who discovered that Jane Doe also had a cleft palette.

After that, her body was sent to California for more extensive research. That’s where the DNA Doe Project comes in.

The DNA Doe Project is a nonprofit volunteer organization that specializes in finding the identities of unidentified people who have died. They’ve been working for months to solve this mystery. According to the Project, there are several surnames of interest: Bowman, Niten/Knighton, Grey and Jessup.

“We’ve had some big clues in the case,” Lord said. “Almost all of the DNA matches go back to the same geographic area.”

Investigators have a theory for how Jane Doe got to East Texas.

“It’s a road that has an entrance and exit to the interstate. It would by easy for a trucker to dump her on the interstate and go,” Lieutenant Hope said.

They are working to reach out to her extended family to help put pieces together and finally give Jane Doe her identity.

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